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Publication numberUS3852527 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 3, 1974
Filing dateOct 9, 1973
Priority dateOct 9, 1973
Publication numberUS 3852527 A, US 3852527A, US-A-3852527, US3852527 A, US3852527A
InventorsMcquivey R
Original AssigneeThiokol Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Articulate inspection instrument
US 3852527 A
Abstract
A tapered pedestal holds an arm having a pluraity of rigid segments hinged together, relative positions of the segments being controlled by flexible shafts that operate lead screws. Each lead screw spans a hinge by passing through a threaded pivot on each adjacent arm segment. Two long bands of spring material, biased to form tubes, are stored flat by being wound about two spindles in the pedestal. The bands extend upwardly between and around pairs of rollers in the pedestal and in the articulate arm that maintain flatness of the bands. They are threaded through an orifice at the upper end of the articulate arm and are fastened to a base that holds an observation means. As the bands emerge from the orifice, they are free to form concentric tubes that provide a rigid, extensible boom whereby the observation means may be extended and retracted in the bore to be inspected.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 McQuivey Dec. 3, 1974 l l ARTICULATE INSPECTION INSTRUMENT [75] Inventor: Richard M. McQuivey, Brigham City, Utah [73] Assignee: Thiokol Corporation, Bristol, Pa.

[22] Filed: Oct. 9, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 404,553

[52] US. Cl....... l78/7.l, l78/D1G. l, l78/DlG. 30,

354/63, 356/241 [51] Int. Cl. H04n 7/18 [58] Field of Search l78/D1G. 1, 7.81, 7.2,

l78/DIG. 30, 7.1; 350/11; 356/237, 241; 354/63; 73/167 Primary Examiner-Howard W. Britton Assistant ExaminerMichael A. Masinick Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward E. McCullough l5 7 ABSTRACT A tapered pedestal holds an arm having a pluraity of rigid segments hinged together, relative positions of the segments being controlled by flexible shafts that operate lead screws. Each lead screw spans a hinge by passing through a threaded pivot on each adjacent arm segment. Two long bands of spring material, biased to form tubes, are stored flat by being wound about two spindles in the pedestal. The bands extend upwardly between and around pairs of rollers in the pedestal and in the articulate arm that maintain flatness of the bands. They are threaded through an orifice at the upper end of the articulate arm and are fastened to a base that holds an observation means. As the bands emerge from the orifice, they are free to form concentric tubes that provide a rigid, extensible boom whereby the observation means may be extended and retracted in the bore to be inspected.

9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PAIENIELUEB slam SHEEI 1am FIG ARTICULATE INSPECTION INSTRUMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates broadly to inspection devices, and more specifically to those that must be extensible in one direction to many times their stored lengths for inspecting elongated cavities. The invention herein described was made in the course of or under contract experimental propellant is used'in such a rocket, it

must be inspected periodically to assure that undesirable effects, such as cracking, have not occurred as a result of aging. Such an effect must be known, because greatly increased burning surface in the cracks can cause the rocket to overpressurize and possibly explode when ignited. i

Inspection of such a rocket motor is especially difficult if it has a plurality of thrust nozzles. As shown in FIG. 3, any inspection device supported outside such a rocket must execute two substantially 90 turns in order to enter the main cavity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present'invention, which satisfies this need is an inspection instrument, the primary element of which is a pair of long bands that are spring-biased to form concentric tubes when freed. These bands are storable by being wound upon adjacent spindles that are journaled in a tapered pedestal. The spindles are connected together by gears so that a hand crank operating one will also operate the other in counter-rotation. The bands are threaded upwardly in the pedestal, supported and maintained flat by pairs of rollers. The top of the pedestal is hinged to an articulate arm, segments of which are hinged together. The. free end of the articulate arm is hinged to an orifice member through which the bands are also threaded, the ends of the bands being fixed to a base that holdsan observing means. The segments of observation means maybe controlled and oriented with precision so that any predetermined portion of the bore to be inspected may be observed. 1

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent as the following detailed description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings.

The same parts are designated by identical numbers through this disclosure.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention; FIG. 2 is a partial perspectiveview of the hidden side of the pedestal, as it appears in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an outline drawing showing the invention installed in a rocket motor; and

FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevation of the invention, partially in section, with the observing means omitted.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A pedestal 10 is tapered from its base 11 to its top portion 12, and a pair of spindles 13 are joumaled in bearings in the sides of the pedestal 10. The spindles 13 are also connected by gears 13a meshed so that, when one spindle'is rotated, the other will be rotated in a counterdirection. For this purpose, one of the spindles 13 is equipped with a hand crank 15. A long band 16 is wound upon each of the spindles 13 for storage. Each of these bands 16 is spring-biased to form a tube.

An articulate arm 17 having two hinged segments 18 I and 19 is hinged at one end to the top 12 of the pedestal 10 and at the opposite end to the orifice member 20. A first lead screw 21 is attached to the top portion of the pedestal 10 by a threaded pivot'22 and to the first segment 18 of the articulate arm 17 by a second threaded pivot 23. The lower end of the lead screw 21 is attached to a flexible shaft 24 that is threaded down wardly through the pedestal 10 and fixed to a first hand wheel 25 held to the pedestal 10 by a boss 26. By rotating the hand wheel 25, the lead screw 21 can position the arm segment 18 precisely as desired, relative to the pedestal 10, in the manner of a muscle spanning a skeletal joint.

In the same manner, the first andsecond segments 18 and 19 of the articulate arm 17 are controlled by a second lead screw 27 attached to the segments respectively by threaded pivots 28 and 29, its lower end being attached to a second flexible shaft 30 that is in turn attached to a second hand wheel 31 held to the pedestal by a second boss 32.

ln identical fashion, a third lead screw 33 is attached to the second segment 19 of the articulate arm 17 and to the orifice member 20 by threadedpivots 34 and 35. The lower end of the lead screw 33 is attached to a third flexible shaft 36 held to the pedestal by a third boss 37 and terminates in a third hand wheel 38.

The two bands, 16 are threaded upwardly through the pedestal 10, the articulate arm 17 and the orifice member 20 by pairs of idle rollers 39. The bands 16 are al-- temately passed between pairs of rollers 39 and around them to maintain their flatness and flexibility until they are released through the top portion of the orifice member 20, whereupon they become concentric tubes that form a rigid boom 40. The upper end of the boom 40 is fixed to a platform 41 that holds a television camera 42 or other means of observing the interior of the bore 43 of the rocket motor 44. g

The invention is particularly applicable to inspection of the bore 43 of a solid propellant rocket 44, of the type shown in the FIG.- 3, having a solid propellant grain 45 and a plurality of thrust nozzles 46.

Before use, the articulate arm 17 and orifice member 20 are programmed so that when the pedestal 10 is in through which each hand. wheel 25, 31, and 38 must be rotated to place the articulate arm 17 in the appropriate position in the rocket motor 44, as the pedestal 10 is slowly raised into place by an elevating mechanism 47. Each of the hand wheels 25, 31, and 38 is equipped with a digital counter 48 for this purpose.

A second hand crank 49 extends from the side of the pedestal 10 opposite that which holds the first hand crank 15. This second hand crank 49 operates a train of sprockets 50 and chains 51 that transmit the motion of the hand crank 49 to a pair of extending rollers 52- 52, they are fed into a sleeve 53 in the orifice memberv 20 that permits them to form concentric tubes to provide' the rigid boom 40. i v

A fourth flexible shaft 54 passes through a pivot 55 attached to the platform 41 and is fixed at its upper end to a 'worm gear 56. The gear 56 meshes with a second wormgear 57 that attaches thecamera 42 to the platform 41 and rotates about the axis of the boom 40. This flexible shaft 54 is also threaded downwardly through the pedestal l and through a boss 58 in the side of the pedestal 10. It is operated by a fourth hand wheel 59, whereby the television camera 42 may be oriented as desired in a horizontal plane. A fifth flexible shaft 60 operates a third worm gear 61 that meshes with fourth worm gear 62 attached to the camera for orienting it as desired in a vertical plane. The flexible shaft 60 also is threaded down through the articulate arm 17, the pedestal l0, and through a boss 63 in the side of the pedestal to a fifth hand wheel 64, whereby it may be operated. 1

Electrical conductors and controls for operating the television camera are conventional and are not shown.

When a rocket having plural nozzles is to be in,- spected, the articulate arm 11 is straightened into a vertical position and the invention is raised into one of the nozzles 46 on its elevating mechanism 47 until the camera 42 nearly reaches the propellant 45. Then, by serially turning the first, second, and third hand wheels 25, 31, and 3 8 and operating the elevating mechanism 47 according to .a prescribed program, during which the digital counters 48 are used as guides, the orifice member 20 is moved into line with the cavity 43 to be inspected. The camera 42 is .then extended and withdrawn by rotating thecranks l and 49, and it may be oriented as desired by rotating the fourth and fifth hand wheels 59 and 64. Readout is achieved by means of a conventional television receiver, not shown.

When the inspection is complete, the boom 40 is ithdrawn by rotating the hand crank l5, and the articulate arm is withdrawn from the cavity by reversing the program followed to achieve .its placement.

An invention has been described that advances the art of inspecting elongated cavities or bores. Although the embodimentshave been shown with considerable specificity with regard to details, such details may be altered without departing from the scope of the invention as it is defined in the following claims.

, 4 The invention claimed isi 1. An instrument for inspecting elongated cavities, comprising:

a pedestal;

5 an articulate arm having a plurality of segments hinged together in series, one end segment being hinged to the pedestal;

an orifice member hinged to the free end of the articulate arm;

a pair of long bands of spring material, biased to form tubes, threaded upwardly through the pedestal, the articulate arm, and extending through the orifice member;

means in the pedestal for anchoring and storing the lower end portion of the bands;

means in the pedestal and in the articulate arm for maintaining the bands flat until they are released to form concentric tubes;

means for extending and withdrawing the bands relative to the storage place therefor;

means for positioning the segments of the articulate arm as desired; and

observation means attached to the upper end of the concentric tubes formed by the bands. I

2. The inspection instrument of claim 1 wherein the meansfor maintaining each of the bands in a flat position while in the pedestal and articulate arm is a series of pairs of rollers, the bands passingalternately between and around successive pairs of the rollers.

3. The inspection instrument of claim 1 wherein the means for anchoring and storing the lower end portion of the bands is a pairof spindles journaled in the sides of the pedestal, gears connecting the spindles so that they may move in counterrotation to one another, and a hand crank attached to one of the spindles, whereby the spindles may be rotatedfor withdrawing the bands for storage, each of the bands being anchored at its lower end portion to a separate one of the spindles so that it may be stored by being wound upon its spindle.

4. The instrument of claim 1 wherein the means of extending the bands comprises:

a pair of rollers journaled inthe orifice member at the orifice thereof, the bands being tightlyconfined between the rollers and extending through the orifice; gears connecting the rollers together so that they rotate in counterdirection to one another; a chain-and-sprocket train connected at oneend to one of the rollers forrotating it; and a crank connected to the other en-dfof thetrain for imparting motion to the rollers, whereby the bands may be moved through the orifice. I 5. The inspectioninstrument of claim! wherein the means for positioning the segments of the articulate am as desired comprises for each hinge:

a pair of pivots, one fixed to a segment on each side of the hinge and each having a threadedeye; a lead screw spanning the hinge'and passing through the eye of each pivot inthreaded engagement; a flexible shaft attached at one end to an end of the lead screw and threaded downwardly through the articulate arm and pedestal; and 65 means for rotating the flexible shaft. 1 f

cluding a counter attached to each flexible-shaft for counting rotations thereof. I

6. The inspection instrument of claim 5' further in- 7. The inspection instrument of claim 1 wherein the observation device is a television camera and further includes means for orienting the camera as desired.

8. The inspection instrument of claim 7 wherein the means for orienting a television camera comprises:

a first flexible shaft operatively attached to the camera for orienting it in a horizontal plane;

means for rotating the first flexible shaft;

a second flexible shaft operatively attached to the camera for rotating it in a vertical plane; and means for rotating the second flexible shaft.

9. An instrument for inspecting elongated cavities comprising:

a pedestal;

an articulate arm hinged at one end to the pedestal and having a plurality of segments hinged together;

an orifice member hinged to the free end of the articulate arm;

a pair of long bands, spring biased to form tubes,

threaded upwardly through the pedestal, the articulate arm, and the orifice member;

a pair of spindles journaled in the pedestal, gears connecting 'the spindles so that they may rotate in counter direc-tion to one another, each of the bands being attached to a spindle for storage thereon;

a first crank attached to one of the spindles for rotat- 6 ing it;

a series of pairs of rollers joumaled in the pedestal and articulate arm for maintaining the bands flat until they emerge through the orificemember, the bands passing alternately between and around successive pairs of rollers;

a pair of extending rollers in the upper end of the articulate arm, a chain-and-sprocket attached to one of the rollers, meshed gears connecting therollers so that they may move in counterrotation, and a hand crank connected to the chain-and-sprocket train for rotating the rollers, whereby the bands may be extended through the orifice member by being passed between the rollers; 7

means for positioning the members of the articulate arm and the orifice member as desired comprising: a lead screw spanning each hinge, a pivot on each member forming the hinge, having an internally threaded eye engaged by the lead screw, and a flexible shaft attached at one end to an end of the lead screw and means for rotating the flexible shaft attached to the other end thereof;

a television camera mounted on the free end of the bands; and

means for orienting and controlling the camera as desired.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3329059 *Feb 7, 1962Jul 4, 1967Thiokol Chemical CorpBore inspecting device
US3399614 *Jun 15, 1965Sep 3, 1968George J. FischerRemotely controlled mounts
US3609236 *Sep 30, 1968Sep 28, 1971Bethlehem Steel CorpApparatus for televising the interior of hazardous chamber
US3689695 *Apr 10, 1970Sep 5, 1972Harry C RosenfieldVehicle viewing system
US3764736 *Mar 3, 1971Oct 9, 1973Combustion EngRemote visual examination apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4131914 *Sep 2, 1976Dec 26, 1978Bricmont & Associates, Inc.Method and apparatus for inspecting refractory lining in coke oven chambers and the like
US4460920 *Oct 30, 1981Jul 17, 1984Kraftwerk Union AktiengesellschaftAutomatically traveling tube-interior manipulator for remotely controlled transportation of testing devices and tools along given feedpaths, preferably for nuclear reactor installations
US4586079 *Oct 7, 1983Apr 29, 1986Westinghouse Electric Corp.Fiberscope delivery system
US4677472 *Nov 21, 1985Jun 30, 1987Insituform Group LimitedApparatus for inspecting the interior of a pipeline
US4830491 *Apr 18, 1984May 16, 1989Morton Thiokol, Inc.Cavity scope
US4991006 *Mar 8, 1990Feb 5, 1991Insituform Licensees, B. V.Apparatus using an everted hose for inspecting the interior of a lateral pipeline
US5757419 *Dec 2, 1996May 26, 1998Qureshi; IqbalInspection method and apparatus for tanks and the like
US5956077 *May 14, 1998Sep 21, 1999Qureshi; IqbalInspection method and apparatus for tanks and the like
CN102225619A *Apr 14, 2011Oct 26, 2011中国水利水电第十三工程局有限公司橡塑制品厂Rubber lining machine for steel ring of sludge-sucking rubber pipe
CN102225619BApr 14, 2011May 15, 2013中国水利水电第十三工程局有限公司橡塑制品厂Rubber lining machine for steel ring of sludge-sucking rubber pipe
Classifications
U.S. Classification348/85, 356/241.1, 396/19, 348/373
International ClassificationF02K9/24, G01N29/265, G02B23/24, G01N29/26, G03B37/00, F02K9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG01N29/265, F02K9/24, G03B37/005, G02B23/2476
European ClassificationG03B37/00B, G01N29/265, F02K9/24, G02B23/24D